Many people today think that diet beverages with sugar replacements are good for them. They have a sweet taste and are refreshing and low in calories, same as water. But, these drinks are nothing close to water which is found in nature.
These beverages are man-made from laboratory chemicals. Most of them contain numerous chemicals, including aspartame, an artificial sweetener comprised of two amino acids, that is, aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
Despite being FDA approved, there has been a lot of research which has linked it with serious health issues, including depression.
The Dangers of Aspartame
According to studies, aspartame has been associated with the following health problems:
- Chronic headaches
- Reduction in cognition
- Changes in mood
- Decreased memory capacity
This synthetic artificial sweetener is, believe it or not, 200 times sweeter than sugar. It was discovered back in 1965 accidentally by a chemist who was developing an anti-ulcer medication.
The scientist, James M. Schlatter,licked his finger because of an unknown white powder after working with some chemicals. The powder tasted sweet. The rest is history.
This artificial sweetener is made of two acids and a carbon. The carbon, in the small intestine, forms into a methanol molecule. Methanol is a wood alcohol which is present in rocket fuel, paint thinner, and anti-freeze.
The effect it has on the body is similar to that of wine and beer, except that it is transformed into waste in the body, i.e. formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing substance.
In a study from 2014 funded by the US Army Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, there were participants who were healthy adults between the ages of 20 and 40 with good mental capacity and emotional status.
For the purposes of the study, they consumed 25 mg/kg of body weight of this sweetener per day for 8 days.
Afterwards, they went back to their regular diets for 14 days to reset their bodies. After these two weeks, they consumed 10 mg/kg of body weight of aspartame per day for 8 days.
The researchers tested their cognition, depression levels, mood, and headaches. They also underwent tests for spatial awareness and working memory.
The Findings of the Study
- The participants’ spatial awareness weakened in the 25 mg/kg group
- The depression and irritability increased in the 25 mg/kg group
- 3 of the participants experienced symptoms of depression without any previous history of depression
- One individual reported a headache and two individuals showed working memory loss